7NIHONBASHIOf the historic shops of Japan, many started in the Nihonbashi area during the Edo period, and many famous food and craft establishments were set up in this period, continuing to provide exciting products and experiences to this day. Today's unattractive highway above the bridge is a result of clumsy city planning after the war, and happily is to be removed in the near future. Nihonbashi, designated as an Important Cultural Property, celebrated its centenary in April 2011. The bridge's decoration is a combination of Western and Japanese styles, which is an interesting artistic feature to take in as a visitor. You can visit this famous bridge and experience the history passed down from the Edo period, while looking forward to a brighter future.Nihonbashi enjoyed rapid growth as the center of a castle town under the Edo shogunate. Merchants and craftsmen from across the country gathered at the Nihonbashi bridge that became the area's symbol and name, the origin point of the Five Routes that connected Edo with the rest of Japan. It is also the place where Japan's postal system and financial system began, and home to a great deal of unique culinary culture.